HBO did some major house cleaning this week, axing three well-known shows from the its line-up to make room for a slew of new series slated to begin throughout 2012.
The comedies “Bored to Death,” “How to Make it in America” and “Hung” were all cancelled by the network’s programming president Michael Lombardo on Tuesday. All three comedies saw multiple seasons produced but didn’t have the legs for the network to order further episodes. Lombardo waited for the series to finish their current season before making a final decision to axe them, according to Variety.
“Hung,” starring Thomas Jane as a teacher turned male prostitute, had the largest audience of the three shows, with an average of 3.9 million viewers. The show slipped in its third season, losing 44 percent of the 6.9 million viewers who tuned in during its second season.
Jane recently made headlines with a convoluted interview in which he clarified that unlike his character, he was never a male prostitute. (In October, he told the L.A. Times that he was open to sexual experimentation with men as a young actor, saying ”I was 18. I wasn’t averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?”)
“In the interviews that I did, I never said I was a prostitute,” Jane recently told The Fix. “I was talking about my [early] time in Hollywood: I said that I’d had a sexually adventurous time and I was trying to relate that to how I play a prostitute on TV— trying to relate my experience to my character’s experience — and well, people heard what they wanted to hear.”
“I suppose ‘sexually adventurous youth’ wasn’t as much of a headline grabber,” he added.
Jane also shared his not-so-flattering views about American education.
“My kid’s not in the American school system—no f**king way,” he told The Fix about his 8-year-old daughter with ex-wife Patricia Arquette. “I dropped out of high school and my kid goes to a school where I believe they have a hell of a lot more going on than we do in America. There are alternative schools, and I highly suggest that everyone look into them.”
Back to HBO: “Bored to Death” had a significant amount of star power with Ted Danson, Jason Schwartzman and it-guy Zach Galifianakis. The Brooklyn-set comedy followed the exploits of a wannabe detective named for the show’s creator Jonathan Ames. Though it was a fan favorite, it averaged a low 2.3 million viewers in its third season, with a paltry 240,000 viewers of its season opener, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“How to Make it in America,” which many thought to be the New York hipster version of the network’s hit L.A.-set show “Entourage,” was cancelled after its second eight-episode season. The series, which starred Bryan Greenberg and focused on young Brooklynites trying to make it in the fashion world, finished its second season with a low 560,000 viewers.
The network has a bevy of new series coming up in 2012, including the “Luck,” a drama created by “Deadwood” creator David Milch centering on horse racing, starring Dustin Hoffman, and “Veep,” a political comedy with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from “In the Loop” scribe Armando Iannucci.
One series to survive Tuesday was the Laura Dern comedy “Enlightened,” which just earned Golden Globe nominations for both the show and Dern. the show was renewed for a second season.